Saturday, December 30, 2006


A New Year is right around the corner! A brand new clean calendar! It's up to each one of us what we do with it. Each year I make the same goals with a possible extra or two tossed in for good measure. I prefer to use GOALS instead of RESOLUTIONS because I feel that I am taking already important things in my life and putting my focus on strengthening them.

1. To make an effort to learn something new every day. The joy of knowledge is indeed a blessing no matter what you choose to learn.

2. To make time for myself. It's amazing what 15 minutes sitting on the deck with a hot cup of coffee and watching the birds can do for my soul. A little time each day to refresh my spirit is all it takes.

3. To take time to appreciate each day. Too often we forget to see the beauty around us and take the simple things in life for granted. My continued goal is to look with my eyes but to see with my heart. To simply and enjoy life and all that is a part of it.

4. To enjoy my family and friends. I am lucky to have each and every one of them in my life.
5. Organize and Simplify! Two key words I always yearn to make a part of my everyday routine but often lose focus on. Organize doesn't mean I have to go on a cleaning rampage each day. It just means I need to get my life and things that are a part of my life in some of manageable order so that I feel comfortable instead of constantly overwhelmed. Not putting things off until the last minute can contribute greatly to this cause! Simplify! Just what it means - plain and simple! Stop making a mountain out of a mole hill, do what I can and leave the rest, don't volunteer for more than I feel I can handle or feel will stress me out!

And of course the New Year just wouldn't be complete without a few scrapbooking/crafting goals!

1. I will allow myself to create more freely. Stop depending so much on current trends and go with what is in myself instead.

2. No pressure. Keep the fun and joy in scrapbooking. This is why I started in the first place!

3. Get pictures! Enough said. I am sharing one of my favorite photos from 2006.

Wishing everyone a wonderful and Happy New Year filled with everything good!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Holiday Hangover!

I have been really lax about keeping up with my blog during the holidays so that will be one of my New Year's resolutions! It has been such a busy season around here that I feel like I have a hangover now that it's over! DH was working some horrible hours with little time off and we were unsure if he would have Christmas day off but thankfully, they finished up in time and he was able to take at least part his remaining Christmas vacation!

I was in several Christmas swaps with scrapbooking groups and was totally thrilled with everything I received! Not to mention the extra holiday gifts and birthday surprises! I am always sad to see the holidays end but those after Christmas sales sure help to lift my spirits! No time to go check them out today but I am tomorrow brings some free time so we can see what's left on the shelves in the stores!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

It's the Most Wonderful Time

I have been very bad about updating my blog lately! Shame on me! Since the holidays began over Thanksgiving weekend, it has been something constantly around here! DH has a terrible work schedule right now and doesn't see any relief from it in the very near future so all holiday plans and outings are still on hold.

I have been busy this week with my holiday baking. So far I have knocked out Bourbon Balls, Rum Balls, Cheese cookies, chocolate dipped cookies, Peanut Butter Blossoms, Walnut balls, sausage balls and eggnog cookies. I still have Cream Cheese Bread, Monkey Bread, fudge, a German Chocolate cake, a Rum Cake and mini cheesecake bites left to make! Whew! But everything taste delicious if I say so myself!

I will try to check back in as I can during the holidays but here's an early HAPPY HOLIDAYS and MERRY CHRISTMAS to you all!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Just a quick post so I can say I haven't been ignoring my blog to badly over the holiday season!

I am exhausted at this moment from going through all my baking supplies so I can complete my list for things still left to buy! Of course the list keeps growing as everyone keeps adding treats to my baking week! The additions include: eggnog cookies, pecan balls, Rum cake, German Chocolate cake and peanut butter blossoms! Yikes! I may as well pitch a tent in the kitchen for that week!

I hope everyone is getting in the holiday spirit!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

I spent yesterday going over my holiday baking list and deciding which week would be set aside for my cooking fest. I decided to start on December 11 and will make one or two items each day through December 15.

Day 1 - Cheese Cookies (Ryan's favorite)
Day 2 - Rum Balls and Bourbon Balls
Day 2 - Fudge
Day 3 - start the dough for my Cream Cheese Bread (Harold's favorite)
Day 3 - Chocolate dipped shortbread cookies
Day 4 - Finish up the Cream Cheese Bread
Day 5 - Cream Cheese Cake mini bites
and on Christmas Eve - Monkey Bread (Michael's favorite)

of course, I love it all! I skipped all the extra baking last holiday season so I am really looking forward to it this year. Thanksgiving will be different this year. Harold has to work (for the first time since we've been married), Michael will be out of town and Ryan has made other plans also. I have decided to save my big turkey for Christmas. Of course I will bake a small turkey so they can still get their left over turkey sandwich fixes!

Once again I'm getting the itch to do 12x12 layouts. It happens every so often but in the end I am always happier with my 8.5x11's. I have a large bed scanner so the stitching wouldn't be a problem but I am just not happy with the color on this scanner. It looks washed out. My regular bed scanner gives me the color I want.
So I will make my arguements for 8.5x11 once again!

a. I still have lots and lots of 8.5x11 page protectors.
b. I still have some unused 8.5x11 albums
c. I am used to size format.
d. the albums fit perfectly on my bookshelf.

Enough said! And I can always roam the online galleries at all the wonderful work in this size!


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Finding the Good in the Bad

Yesterday brought sad news. One of my favorite scrapbooking websites/communities will shutting it's doors. I have been here for over 2 years and met many wonderful ladies that I am proud to call my friends. Today I will try to focus on the good things instead of dwelling over something that makes me so sad.

1. The test results (mentioned in my previous post) came back and all is well.

2. I am still working on my Gratitude Journal. I just haven't found the time to scan the images to upload.

3. I have bought our Thanksgiving turkey and have planned out the menu. I've also been stocking up for Christmas baking that will begin shortly after Turkey Day!

4. Ryan asked me to take some pictures of him last night. Maybe I can convince him to let me take some more and get him to smile next time!

5. DH and I are hoping to take another day trip soon.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

On My Soapbox

I have been wanting to scrap these photos since our trip to the mountains this month and I finally got it done! We are already talking about our next day trip. We have the destination picked out but the date is still undecided. But I am definitely looking forward to it! It will be a Christmas excursion to see some wonderful decorations along with a trip to their bakery for some homemade goodies!

Yesterday was check up day at the doctor's office. My original doctor retired and forwarded my records to this new place. I'm not too sure I like it very much. I had always been in and out within a time frame of 20 minutes before. I was in their office for two hours yesterday and there was very little waiting. Just a lot of tests, poking and proding! Why do doctors seem to want to fuss at you about every little thing! If I were to live my life their way, I would probably be in a glass bubble instead of enjoying life! I know they are doing their jobs and I respect that. I just ask for a little breathing room during the process! DH has a doctor who was always on his case about one thing or another until one day when dh was at the store and saw his doctor purchasing a few of his own "bad habits"! LOL! Nothing else has been said! LOL!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


As promised, here are the first few pages of my Blessing Art Journal and the cover! I am loving the size, the book I'm using, the theme and all the wonderful Fall papers I am finding in my stash!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Busy Days

What a busy week it's been so far! Over the weekend, we took a trip up to the Great Smokey Mountain Railways for a train tour of the mountains. Unfortunately, the leaves hadn't changed as much as I had hoped but it was still beautiful and definitely cold! It was nice to get away together even it was only for a day and we have decided we need to spend more quality time together so I am already looking around to plan our next outing!

Later when I was ready to pop dinner in the oven, I discovered it wasn't working! Nothing would heat up! The repair guys are coming out this morning and I hope they find the problem and this never happens again!

It's hard to believe the holidays are just right around the corner! It seems like it takes forever for them to get here then after Labor Day, the calendar just goes into fast forward and they are here in two shakes! I bought some new decorations on sale last year that I'm excited about using this year and hoping for some good holiday photos. I never seem to get those. Also, it's time to start stocking up my dry goods at the grocery store for holiday baking!

Last night I started on my Thankful art journal over at DML and I hope to get started on my circle journal tonight. I will be posting these later! I still love doing my layouts, but lately I have been craving variety and smaller albums seem to fit the need perfectly! Later today I will get a head start on the Christmas Cookie recipe swap over at Peek!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

It's a Pink Day

If I am up early enough, I like to watch the sunrise and even take pictures of it in all it's glory. The sky is usually filled hues of orange at dawn ranging from light to dark and no two sunrises are ever alike. But this morning the sky was filled with pinks and blues! Such a difference and just as beautiful! Maybe it was because of the rain we got last night or maybe the heavens just wanted to catch my attention. It worked!

When I see a sunrise my heart feels full. How can you see something this beautiful and not believe.

I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.
(refrain from His Eye is on the Sparrow by Civilla Martin)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Lost and Found

I was working on a Christmas art journal last year and never completed it so I decided to that now! Uh oh! It was gone! I looked all over the house for it and came to the conclusion that when we packed up some of the rooms for the flooring guys to come in, it must have accidentally landed in the trash pile and been thrown out! So I am starting all over on it instead of abandoning the idea! The journal I bought to use is big enough to accomidate the 25 days of the challenge but also hold alot of unscrapped holiday pictures from years past and extra entries over the years to come!

I chose my theme for my circle journal. I will be doing "It's what I have that counts". Everyone has something that makes them feel good so this should be a fun topic! I hope to get the cover, sign in page and intro/instruction page done this coming weekend!

Our trip to the mountains is coming up very soon now! I have been keeping an eye on the weather forecast for the area and as of right now it looks like a sunny day and cool enough to take along a sweatshirt! Just how I love the weather - especially in the mountains! I will be recharging camera batteries so we can take plenty of pictures!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Eenie Meenie Minie Moe

All of the Memory Trends sneak peeks are beginning to pop up around the internet. What are you excited about? I am anxious to get my hands on these great new swatch book impress ons by Danelle Johnson (posted on her blog at! I know there will be more "must haves" added to my list as more things are introduced over the next few days but for now, these rank #1.

I am excited about the circle journal we are getting ready to start at DML! I have always admired the work in other CJ's and this will be my first opportunity to do one! I still have not completely chosen my theme. I am using a 6x6 journal and each person will do 2 pages in the book. Right now it is narrowed to 3 possible ideas. a) Seasons of My Soul or b) In My Kitchen or based upon a BOM layout I did c) It's What I Have That Counts. Maybe I should choose by using the standard eenie meenie minie mo method! LOL! Any suggestions? LOL

Sunday, October 01, 2006

It's Everywhere! It's Everywhere!

I am just floored by all the inspiration I am surrounded by! The gals in the scrapbook communities I frequent are so talented! I look at their layouts and think "that's how I want to scrap"! I finally caved in and bought a set of these yummy Art Warehouse stamps by Danelle Johnson! As I said before, I'm not much of a stamper but I am determined to use these and the other stamps I have bought! It won't be long now before a lot of new stamps and other goodies are introduced at MT!

The weather is slowly beginning to cool off and feel like Fall! Especially in the mornings. I need a sweater when I take Whiner out for his morning walk around the house! I am hoping that when we go to the mountains this month, the leaves will be at their peak!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Breaking out of my box

Ok, here the thing. I have decided it's time for me to stretch my wings and try some new things. I love scrapbooking but I have mainly kept myself confined to layouts. It seems like mini books and stamping are two things I tend to back away from! I love looking at mini books other people do because they really seem to know what they are doing. I'll never know if I enjoy it unless I try so this is going on my list of "to do's". I have plenty of stamps. All kinds and I continue buying them. I just never use them. I play with them on pieces of scrap paper but that's about the extent of it. I used to be a stamping fool in my pre-scrapbooking days. It's not like this is anything new to me so why does it scare me so much? I can sit here and think about doing these two things all day or I can just DO THEM! I like the second solution much better! I have also joined my first circle journal group! There was a time when being creative was a natural thing for me. I'm ready to see if that natural instinct is still there!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Computers, Lights and Doctors

I am sitting here making my first blog entry from our new computer. Well, sort of new! Our other computer did a nose dive crash the other night and when shopping around for a new one, we found a floor display model that we got an excellent buy on! A new computer is always nice but getting it set up with all of our programs can be very tiresome!

I can honestly say without a doubt in my mind that I can't stand florescent lights! DH loves them and puts florescent light bulbs all around the house! In lamps, overhead, anywhere he can find that needs lighting gets one of these. We don't get a lot of good natural lighting indoors so I usually need to turn on a lamp when taking a picture. YUK! The results are that everything look an icky yellow! Every now and then I try to change the bulbs out only for him to notice the switch and back in they go! I'm doomed to have yellow everything as long as I take pictures indoors! So now you know why I take a lot of my stuff outdoors when I want a picture of it! LOL! Now if I can just find a way to move some of our furniture outdoors for a few snapshots! To the left is a picture I took recently of an old railroad tressle. When I look at it, I automatically think Southern Charm!

On a good note, I went to my neurologist yesterday. Not one of my favorite things to do but this time I was in and out in less than 15 minutes! He was very pleased to see me feeling so good and told me to keep this attitude as this really does have a lot to do with my seizures. The bright spot of my visit was when he told me that it has been over two years now since my last grand mal seizure!! WOO HOO! Last time I went a little short of 3 years without a seizure so we'll see what happens this time around! Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

It's All Good!

We discussed the mountain day trip last night and are trying to pick an area to go to. I would go up around where my grandparents lived but I have not been able to go up there since they both passed away. It's just too painful for me and very hard knowing that I can't pull up at the house and run in like I always did! Sometimes it's better to just keep the good memories you have instead of trying to push for something that isn't going to happen! So I suggested several spots and told dh that we should just play it by ear. Since I am mainly wanting to go up for some photography opportunities, it needs to be a place that is untouched by the world of BUSY and still holds the charm of simplicity. It sounds like a dream come true, doesn't it? But these places do still exist! He finially commited to sometime in October. Now to set the actual date!

If you haven't gotten the new book, Slice of Life Scrapbooking by Simple Scrapbooks at, I highly recommend that you put it on your shopping list RIGHT NOW! I sat down to read through it last night and was blown away! The ideas in this book are so in tune with my photography mission and makes it all seem so easy and do-able! I know I will be doing a second reading later to see if I missed anything the first time around in my excitement!

When dh came home from work yesterday he brought home a cake for our anniversary as a surprise! It wasn't a big cake but the thought definitely was! Unfortunately the boys pretty much demolished it before I was able to get my camera and take a picture or two of it but the memory is still there! Just when I think he is the typical man who forgets occassions or can't take the time to be creative, he does something like this! That's why I love him!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Today is our big 3-0 anniversary and we have a new member in the family! A Canon Digital Rebel XTi camera! We were lucky and got a wonderful deal on it especially considering that this version of the Rebel has only been on the store shelves a short time! It is definitely a combined present for the both of us! A few accessories have been ordered and should be here by the end of the week. The more I think about this camera and see the great pictures that other Rebel users take, I am defintely getting anxious to try it out and see what I can do with it!

The more I think about our day trip to the mountains, the more excited I get! Being around all that delicious Southern culture and mountain flavor does something wonderful for my soul! Now I have to get dh to commit to a date! I am thinking that sometime in October would be a wonderful time to go. The leaves are usually at their peak and the weather is cool enough for a sweater or light jacket but still enjoyable.

DH traded in the Lumina for this! A Chevy Metro Geo. The Lumina was a good car for 10 years and got us to where we needed to go but with the price of gas continuasly creeping upward, he decided he needed a more fuel efficient car to drive back and forth to work. So far, he has been pleased. The Jeep has now been dubbed our weekend vehicle!

Sunday, September 03, 2006


I've noticed so many times that my scrapping reflects my moods at the time I'm working on the layout. If I feel good about myself, it shows in my work. If I'm feeling a little off or just really icky, that shows too! I much prefer the first choice! Not only for my scrapping but for myself in general! LOL - my family prefers it too! Everything just seems better when I am feeling good about myself. That's the way I like to be and want to stay each day but unfortunately it doesn't always happen for me. Sometimes the day doesn't start the way I had planned and everything seems thrown out of kilter or just a simple comment by another person doesn't set well with me. While other times my insecurities are in full play and take control. Yes, I worry about what people think of me and most everything I do - sometimes too much. But luckily as I am writing this I am feeling good. Feeling good about about me, my life and pretty much everything around me. It's a good day!

Surfing a few blogs this morning and I found an older entry from Ali that basically asked "what is your message as a life artist?". This was so easy for me. My message is FIND A MIRACLE! Because they are all around us everyday. At first you may have to look a little harder then suddenly you are finding them everywhere without any effort at all! Don't just open your eyes to see them -- open your heart!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Birds, Cake and White Pants

I am so excited about the "My Ordinary Life" challenge over at Peek! This will be a great extension of our BOM challenges and a wonderful reason for me to look even harder for these everyday moment photos that I mentioned in my previous entry! Something simple yet something very meaningful!

I was informed (before my grocery shopping trip) yesterday that ds and dh were going on a diet! I don't believe in diets. I've seen people have wonderful success with them only to gain all or eveb more of the weight back when they stop the diet routine. I have made my views known to my family (just change eating habits and exercise more) but they continue to use these fad diets from time to time. They don't officially start on it until tomorrow so dh asked me to make his birthday German Chocolate Cake today! LOL! In the past, I have talked to people who have never made this cake because they assume it's just too hard. It's not! And I will share the recipe at the bottom of this entry!

It's Labor Day weekend! It won't be long until I start feeding my birds again! I take a break from June until October to allow them to feed naturally from nature's abundance of berries and insects. Plus it gives my wallet a bit of a break! But I am always reminded by Labor Day weekend to go buy a few bags of food for them so I can be ready! It seems like once Labor Day is over, the holidays are just a blink away so this weekend always reminds me to start stocking up on my holiday baking staples!

Have a great holiday weekend and remember the 60's -- don't wear white after Labor Day! LOL! Shhhhh - I bought a white sweatshirt yesterday! LOL

start with a GC cake mix! LOL! Easy, huh? And no one will know if you don't tell them!

1 1/2 cups evaportated milk
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup of margarine
1 1/3 cups of Flaked Coconut
Cornstarch to be added in very small amounts as needed for thickening.

Combine milk, sugar, egg yolks, margarine and vanilla in saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat (adding cornstarch as needed) till thick - about 12 minutes. I usually add the cornstarch by teaspoonful until it becomes spreading consistency. Stir in coconut and pecans. Take off heat and beat until thick enough to spread. Can be doubled if needed. Makes approximately 3 cups.

Friday, September 01, 2006

It's Important!

September! I see another busy month in store for us in my crystal ball! DS is going to make his decision this month about which branch of the service he is most interested in. I think he knows everything there is to know about each branch! He decided he wanted to enjoy this summer and his friends since he would most likely be leaving in the Fall. He has certainly kept busy! Concerts, theme parks and water parks, cook outs and so much more!

DH and I have a big anniversary coming up very soon! The big 30! That's alot of years to spend with one person but I wouldn't want it to have been anyone other than him! I can look back to when we first got married and see how much I've changed over the years! It's all been for the better and he's had alot to do with that! We were in the stages of planning to have a photo shoot set up when the need to replace our hot water became a priority! Instead, the boys have offered to take some pictures of us for the occassion (if all this rainy gloom will move on). And dh has promised to take me up to the mountains for some wonderful photo opportunities!

I am currently on a mission. A photography mission. I am always on the look for those pictures that are usually passed over. The everyday things, the common things, those little things that help make us who we are. These are just as important as the big moments we scrap. This became evident to me when doing a search for a picture of my Grandpa's old store. Not one person in the family had a picture because one had never been made. There were plenty of pictures of us outside the store in the gravel area but that wasn't what I wanted. I can still see the store in my mind but I wanted to be able to show it to my children. This is where their mom snitched penny candy and had a whole store to play store in! Don't miss out on any of those little things just because you don't think they are important at the time! Years from now when my kids laugh about Mom's "mad money" jar, there will be a picture as well or when they run across a picture of my gardening bench and say "I had forgotten how thrilled mom was over this little beat up thing!". It's important!